Pa said, "Won't you say a few words? Ain't none of our folks ever been buried without a few words." Connie led Rose of Sharon to the graveside, she reluctant. "You got to," Connie said. "It ain't decent not to. It'll jus' be a little. The firelight fell on the grouped people, showing their faces and their eyes, dwindling on their dark clothes.All the hats were off now. The light danced, jerking over the people. Casy said, It'll be a short one." He bowed his head, and the others followed his lead. Casy said solemnly, "This here ol' man jus' lived a life an' just died out of it. I don't know whether he was good or bad, but that don't matter much. He was alive, an' that's what matters. An' now his dead, an' that don't matter. Heard a fella tell a poem one time, an' he says 'All that lives is holy.' Got to thinkin', an' purty soon it means more than the words says. An' I woundn' pray for a ol' fella that's dead. He's awright. He got a job to do, but it's all laid out for'im an' there's on'y one way to do it. But us, we got a job to do, an' they's a thousan' ways, an' we don' know which one to take. An' if I was to pray, it'd be for the folks that don' know which way to turn. Grampa here, he got the easy straight. An' now cover 'im up and let'im get to his work." He raised his head.
They found a coin and helped him to the telescope. He complained and insulted them, but they helped him look at each individual letter in turn. The first letter was a 'w,' the second an 'e.' Then there was a gap. An 'a' followed, then a 'p,' an 'o,' and an 'l.'Marvin paused for a rest.After a few moments they resumed and let him see the 'o,' the 'g,' the 'i,' the 'z,' and the 'e.'The next two words were 'for' and 'the.' The last one was a long one, and Marvin needed another rest before the could tackle it.It started with 'i,' then 'n,' then 'c.' Next came an 'o' and an 'n,' followed by a 'v,' an 'e,' another 'n,' and an 'i.'After a final pause, Marvin gathered his strength for the last stretch.He read the 'e,' the 'n,' the 'c,' and at last the final 'e,' and staggered back into their arms.'I think,' he murmured at last from deep within his corroding, rattling thorax, 'I feel good about it.'The lights went out in his eyes for absolutely the very last time ever.